Iraq's national assembly erupted into chaos Tuesday during its second meeting ever when lawmakers failed to agree on a parliament speaker.
Lawmakers reacted angrily when they were told at the start of the session that Sunni Muslim deputies failed to choose a speaker from among their ranks as had been agreed to during weeks of talks. As debate grew more heated, the parliament expelled the media and interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi stormed out a short time later.
President Bush offered encouragement, saying differences would be resolved through debate and persuasion. In other developments, a businessman says he has received two calls from men who say they are holding hostage three Romanian journalists missing in Iraq.